Lavonia Johnson just wanted another chance.
Lavonia Johnson just wanted another chance.
The Delaware Hayes High School junior gave herself that chance in the finals of the discus competition in the Division I, district 1 track and field meet that concluded May 21 at Hilliard Bradley.
Standing in the rain for her second of three throws, Johnson delivered an effort of 92 feet, 7 inches to help her finish third and advance to regional.
The top four in each event advanced to regional, which was May 25 and 27 at Pickerington North. Johnson, the only regional qualifier for the Delaware girls, competed May 27. The top four in each event at regional qualified for state Friday and Saturday, June 3-4, at Ohio State.
"Lavonia wanted to win (at district) because she's a competitor, but under those circumstances, I think she just said, 'Let me get one good one in there to make sure I can advance,'" coach Andy Graham said. "They lost four discs in a pond on the field. They (postponed) the pole vault because it was too dangerous and we thought they would stop some other events like the discus and long jump. But they didn't and the show went on."
Johnson's third-place throw was nearly 14 feet short of her seed of 106-4. Olentangy's Adaora Anunike won the discus with a throw of 102-9, which was 14 1/2 feet short of her seed as the conditions took their toll on competitors.
The Pacers scored 18 points to finish 11th in the 14-team field as Dublin Coffman (152) won.
Johnson, a move-in this school year from Lima Shawnee, was sixth in the shot put (32-3) as Olentangy Liberty's Halee Wex took the final qualifying spot (32-11 1/2).
Delaware also placed sixth in three other events, with freshman Emily Richards involved in all three. She ran 1 minute, 1.73 seconds in the 400 meters, as Westerville Central's Ali Fehlhaber was fourth (1:01.19). Tangi Hamilton, Kristin Yannacey, Tayler Reid and Richards posted a 1:51.18 in the 800 relay behind fourth-place Olentangy (1:47.5) and Richards, Yannacey, Reid and Emily Mengerink finished the 1,600 relay in 4:13.40 as Big Walnut was fourth in 4:06.91.
The Delaware boys scored 11 points to finish 15th in the 16-team district 1 meet as Thomas Worthington (87) won.
Matt Swisher (13-6) edged teammate Bobby Oliver (13-0) for fourth place in the pole vault to qualify for regional, where he cleared 13-6 to tie for ninth place on May 25. Westerville Central's Charlie Moushey (14-3) won the district title and Gahanna's Jake Blankenship (16-0) won the regional title. Pickerington Central's Grant Hammond (14-6) earned the final state berth.
Swisher was the only regional competitor for the Delaware boys.
"The Central District has proven to be the hot spot in the state for boys pole vault," Graham said. "So it's been difficult for Matt and Bobby to move on. But Matt was a two-time district qualifier in the toughest district in his specialty, so he's got to be proud about that."
Senior Kyle Edwards was seventh (23.99) in the 200 at district. Kevin Girgis of Thomas (22.93) earned the final regional berth.
•The boys lacrosse team played the Kettering Alter Knights in a quarterfinal of the club state tournament on May 28, with the winner playing at Big Walnut or Cincinnati Anderson in a semifinal on Wednesday, June 1.
The championship will be Saturday, June 4, at Westerville Central. The other side of the bracket has Milford playing Dayton and Fairfield playing Springboro.
Delaware opened the tournament by beating visiting Columbus City Schools 18-4 on May 21 to improve to 10-4.
"Our defense has played well all season with Jordan Carlson, Xia Minich and Andrew Ward in front of goalkeeper Michael Duffy," coach Dick Sanfillipo said. "Griffin Kinney has been great on the attack and Josh Bender has been right there with him. But our midfielders are the workhorses. Phoenix Neitzelt has well over 100 groundballs. They all have been outstanding, from Paul Golden to Jordan Zinader and Dominic Sanfillipo. Whoever gets in there seems to be getting it done."
Kinney and Bender scored four goals apiece against Columbus City Schools, with Golden getting three. Zinader and Charlie Darrough both scored twice. Also scoring were Neitzelt, Kyle Gabbert and Zach Kern.
Duffy made two saves.
"I'm extremely pleased we're playing this well at this point in the season," coach Sanfillipo said. "We're clicking at the right time. We just have to keep focused and keep playing the way we're playing."
•The baseball team underwent a youth movement and finished 12-12 overall and 6-7 in the OCC-Capital Division, with a suspended game against Watkins Memorial never being completed.
Delaware, which had one or two senior starters for most of the season, defeated visiting Walnut Ridge 28-2 in the first round of the Division I district tournament before losing at fourth-seeded Westerville Central 7-3 in the second round May 11.
The Warhawks, who won a district title by beating Reynoldsburg 12-7 on May 21, trailed the Pacers 3-2 entering the sixth before scoring five runs on three hits.
After the tournament loss, the Pacers lost to OCC-Capital champion New Albany 15-9 on May 12 and beat Olentangy Orange 9-3 on May 14 to close the season.
New Albany finished 11-3 in league play and was followed in the standings by Orange (9-5), Mount Vernon (8-5), Watkins Memorial (both 8-5), the Pacers, Big Walnut (6-8), Hilliard Bradley (6-8) and Franklin Heights (0-13).
The Pacers will lose seniors Alex Boger (C), Nick Ratliff (DH/P), Joe Weirtz (P) and Kyle Winston (OF).
Ratliff batted .328 with 17 runs and 18 RBI and had an on-base percentage of .482 He also was 2-1 with a 5.12 ERA in 23 innings pitched, covering eight appearances. Boger batted .261 with 10 runs and 13 RBI. Weirtz was 0-2 with an 8.24 ERA and Winston batted .167.
"These seniors took responsibility for all the actions of the team and were never willing to give in to any hurdle," coach Mike Yinger said. "It was really good to see how mentally strong they were through all of the bad weather, and to be able to come back with a fresh mind and strong will made for a good experience in what could have been a negative one."
Expected to return are juniors Jacob Bosiokovic (P/INF), Aaron Heber (1B/P), Tyler Kidd (1B), Tyler Miller (P/SS), Ethan Nichol (OF), Austin Terry (OF), Kenton Ulmer (LF) and Jake Wright (P/RF), sophomores Alex Hohe (OF), Alex Rafeld (C) and Justin Vanhoesen (CF) and freshmen Colin Reed (3B), Jake South (OF), Greg Suber (3B) and Conner Ulmer (2B).
Bosiokovic, who verbally committed to Ohio State last November, was first-team all-league and first-team all-district. He batted .500 with 36 runs, 32 RBI, eight doubles, one triple, seven home runs, a slugging percentage of .908 and an on-base percentage of .596. He also was 26-for-27 in stolen-base attempts.
On the mound, Bosiokovic was 1-5 with one save and a 3.12 ERA in 33 2/3 innings.
"Jacob told me he was 5-foot tall in the second grade," Yinger said. "Like many athletes who develop quicker than their peers, Jacob started to wonder if he was as good as he was before. He needed to find his next gear. Jacob slumped for two weeks and his average was hovering around .400. After a few discussions, Jacob came back and ended the season with one of the more impressive runs I have seen."
Wright (5-0 with a 3.76 ERA in 25 2/3 innings) was second-team all-league after going 4-0 in the OCC-Capital. Miller was special mention all-league and honorable mention all-district. He batted .304 with 14 runs and was 2-2 with a 2.18 ERA in 25 2/3 innings.
Kenton Ulmer batted .304 with 19 runs and 14 RBI and was honorable mention all-league.
Rafeld hit .282 with 15 runs and 17 RBI. Heber (.273, 11 runs, 13 RBI) followed in batting average. Vanhoesen (18 runs, 11 RBI) also was productive.
"We are very excited with what we have coming back and, if the last week of the season is any indication of the years to come, it will be a lot of fun to compete at the highest level possible," Yinger said.